Friday, February 12, 2016

Why the Writing Walkthrough?

Ever wondered why we have to do the Writing Program Walkthrough each and every year? For those who have been hear, this time to analyze writing K-5 has been an annual occurrence. At this point, you may wonder, Is this just something that ______ (Insert name here: Sarah, Buckner, Oldham County, etc.) dreams up because they just LOVE writing?             No.
We actually engage in a Writing Analysis because our state values writing and teachers' participation in the process. The intended outcome is, as this KDE article states, "to use the data to refine the school's program, continue building on overall students' strengths, and addressing the needs of writing and communication skills." The article pictured below (a great read for all) sheds additional light on the importance of analyzing writing at the classroom, grade, and school levels.
Since you analyze your individual students' writing, your PLCs come together to analyze ELA and content writing, it's the job of each of us to come together as a school to analyze our BUCKNER STUDENTS' writing.
Published: 4/24/2015 2:31 PM

Our writing analysis is now March 16. We will spend time analyzing your students' writing so that you can gain a deeper understanding of how your students are doing, as well as the students in grade levels above and below the grade you teach. At both the school and PLCs levels, opportunities for making decisions about next steps will be provided. It is sure to be a powerful experience.
Looking forward to it! 
Materials to bring: 
AVERAGE BEAR (boys and girls represented in your teams)
  • ELA writing
  • content writing (ANY subject area: math, ss, sci. art)
  • Notebook and folder collection

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Challenge for YOU and Your WRITERS

Critical Friends: Trios Give Feedback

Critical Friends: Collaborating as Writers

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Are you looking for a rigorous way to engage and motivate your student writers? 
  • Need to confer with more students, but find that time is not on your side?
  • Want to lift the level of thinking AND grow your writers at the same time?

Student writers have opinions, ideas, and critical feedback for their fellow classmates. Critical Friends: Trios Give Feedback is a fun and VALUABLE way to put the thinking in the minds of your students. This video, shows you the whys and hows of planning for your students to engage as collaborators of writing.
Writers Talking to Writers (writer of text as listener)

I argue that you could even show it to your students as the mini lesson- stopping along the way to ensure they understand what to do and the pitfalls students fall into when participating as critical friends. Or, simply model it for the group as this teacher did. 
Steps for the Protocol
Specific "Look Fors" based on what the 2-3 writing standards you've taught in this unit. (NOT ALL THINGS ABOUT X KIND OF WRITING)

Try it. Then tell us how it went for your students. What impact did this protocol have on them as writers?